Saturday, August 20, 2016

Setter Resilience

 I signed up for a free September webinar (at least I think it's free) on the topic of resilience in dogs offered by the ASPCA with Patricia McConnell. I love her posts and blogs and they always keep me thinking...According to the invitation to the webinar 
"A hot topic in psychology right now is resilience—the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy or even significant sources of stress. 
We know that there are ways to increase a person’s resilience, but what about the dogs we work with who are stressed or traumatized, who have lost their families or homes, or been victims of abuse or neglect? What can we learn from human psychology and ongoing work treating traumatized dogs to help dogs in our care recover from their past and become more resilient?"
 Sherlock has been with us four months to the day...he's begun to hold his pee and go outside, although some days we regress, and my futon has been christened twice now...particularly on a day when I am tired and neglect to fold it up and out of the way immediately I get up. The barking too is less strident, less hysterical, and while not entirely gone, it's just within bearable limits. I close the door to the hall so he can't go barrelling down it at night to investigate intruders that go bump in the night...and that seems to make it easier for him to come back to me and settle down again more quickly. 
 Back to the topic of resilience, but I do think Sherlock has had very little exposure to all kinds of outside situations: he knew about kong toys and being hit during training, but very litle else.  I think it's safe exposure to new things that builds resilience, and I think safe is the key word. So today I took him along to the local Japanese bon festival dancing...the drumbeats, the people milling around, the kids, the smells of delicious grilled food, all so new and confusing. We sat down on the edge of it all with a view of the square stage with the grannies dancing above and the children in their gaudy festival kimonos dancing round, and Nobunaga and Claire even lay down to relax and watch the world go by, Claire behind me as she's not much of a socialite, and Nobunaga sprawled belly-up in front, inviting the kids to come and say hello. Sherlock jumped with the drumbeats, and the clapping, the patting of round summer fans, the wild teenagers thundering by on their motorbikes, but with all of us sitting down and lounging around and me constantly reassuring him with pats and fondling his ears, he took it all in his stride, and even settled down to sit at one point. YES! Building resilience and healing, confidence and knowledge, all an integral part of a happy rescue.
Photos by Lelantos

No comments:

Post a Comment